The Lithuanian authorities have initiated investigations into citizens suspected of having ties with individuals included in the European Union’s sanctions lists, LRT.lt reported.

The Migration Department of Lithuania is conducting these checks, triggered by the revelation that the two children of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich possess Lithuanian passports, potentially aiding him in evading international sanctions.

Evelina Hudzinskaite, Head of the Lithuanian Migration Department, stated that she couldn’t provide the total number of individuals under scrutiny due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The checks, which involve thousands of people, are set to conclude in January. Hudzinskaite explained that they are utilizing automated solutions to narrow down the scope of the investigation by cross-referencing data in their registers. If connections are identified, further checks will be conducted.

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The Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs has indicated that once the Migration Department determines the number of relatives of individuals subjected to EU sanctions holding Lithuanian citizenship, other departments will assess their involvement in sanctions evasion schemes.

Additionally, the ministry is in the process of finalizing amendments to migration legislation. These changes will allow for the possibility of revoking citizenship acquired not only as an exception but also by origin.

Approximately 800 foreigners who were granted Lithuanian citizenship as an exception are currently under scrutiny by the country’s Department of State Security.

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Lithuania said it's been “witnessing increased activity of Belarusian and Russian intelligence services” on its territory.

Earlier confirmations by Hudzinskaite and the Minister of Internal Affairs of Lithuania, Agne Bilotaite, verified that Abramovich’s children hold Lithuanian citizenship.

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